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first12
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,537
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


It is "Industry Standard" that these kinds of hoodlums exists, because there is always a gullible struggling desperate photographer who will be next in line as the new victim to their their "Industry Standard" Modus Operandi.

There is a vacuum cleaner born every minute... Oops! I mean "sucker"...

.
Oct 12 12 11:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
E H
Posts: 477
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Francisco Castro wrote:
I was approached by an unknown/new modeling agency who said that they were interested in contracting me as their official photographer. However, they said they wanted to test me out first to see if I can really deliver the in the style they're looking for to build their talents' ports/books.

I said sure, and gave them my rates.

They said that this was only a test for me, so it would be unpaid.

I replied that I was fine with that, on the condition that if they did end up using the photos taken during the test shoot, my rates would apply. If they decide it wasn't in the style they were looking for, or if the quality was lower than they expected, or just don't like the images for any reason, they don't use the images, I don't get paid, and we just walk away, no hurt feelings.

That's when I got a message from them that it was "industry standard" that any photos taken during an unpaid test become the property of the agency to use or not use.

I just replied, "Thank you for your interest. However, I am not comfortable with that arrangement.".

They got a little pithy, insisting that's how the industry is.

I just said, "No thank you.".

I don't think what I was asking for was unreasonable; we shoot, you like it enough to use it, you pay for my services. If you don't like it, I eat my time/labor investment, and you don't pay a dime to me.

Was I wrong?

NO, you are not wrong....

   The only 'industry standard' I know is the print starndard... Have to agree someone wants you to help set up a modeling company for nothing. Just another freeboater....
  You did the samething I would do,,, except more choice words at the end smile for them...


Better days coming, hang in there.

Oct 13 12 01:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Renato Alberto
Posts: 715
San Francisco, California, US


Francisco Castro wrote:
I was approached by an unknown/new modeling agency who said that they were interested in contracting me as their official photographer. However, they said they wanted to test me out first to see if I can really deliver the in the style they're looking for to build their talents' ports/books.

I said sure, and gave them my rates.

They said that this was only a test for me, so it would be unpaid.

I replied that I was fine with that, on the condition that if they did end up using the photos taken during the test shoot, my rates would apply. If they decide it wasn't in the style they were looking for, or if the quality was lower than they expected, or just don't like the images for any reason, they don't use the images, I don't get paid, and we just walk away, no hurt feelings.

That's when I got a message from them that it was "industry standard" that any photos taken during an unpaid test become the property of the agency to use or not use.

I just replied, "Thank you for your interest. However, I am not comfortable with that arrangement.".

They got a little pithy, insisting that's how the industry is.

I just said, "No thank you.".

I don't think what I was asking for was unreasonable; we shoot, you like it enough to use it, you pay for my services. If you don't like it, I eat my time/labor investment, and you don't pay a dime to me.

Was I wrong?

Just out of curiosity, Were they going to give you the model/models for the shoot, or did you have to also find the model/models yourself.

I have had the several similar experiences, and it actually was able to work it out to both mine and the agency satisfaction in only 1 occasion.

Oct 13 12 01:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


Francisco Castro wrote:
I was approached by an unknown/new modeling agency who said that they were interested in contracting me as their official photographer. However, they said they wanted to test me out first to see if I can really deliver the in the style they're looking for to build their talents' ports/books.

I said sure, and gave them my rates.

They said that this was only a test for me, so it would be unpaid.

I replied that I was fine with that, on the condition that if they did end up using the photos taken during the test shoot, my rates would apply. If they decide it wasn't in the style they were looking for, or if the quality was lower than they expected, or just don't like the images for any reason, they don't use the images, I don't get paid, and we just walk away, no hurt feelings.

That's when I got a message from them that it was "industry standard" that any photos taken during an unpaid test become the property of the agency to use or not use.

I just replied, "Thank you for your interest. However, I am not comfortable with that arrangement.".

They got a little pithy, insisting that's how the industry is.

I just said, "No thank you.".

I don't think what I was asking for was unreasonable; we shoot, you like it enough to use it, you pay for my services. If you don't like it, I eat my time/labor investment, and you don't pay a dime to me.

Was I wrong?

I would call this as  a very good response and  very true...You were very reasonable and   PLEASE STICK WITH YOUR  DECISION...

Oct 13 12 01:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S A L I N G E R
Posts: 570
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
It is "Industry Standard" that these kinds of hoodlums exists, because there is always a gullible struggling desperate photographer who will be next in line as the new victim to their their "Industry Standard" Modus Operandi.

There is a vacuum cleaner born every minute... Oops! I mean "sucker"...

.

+1

There'll always be some sucker happy to do something for free when someone else would/should charge. And you waste your breathe telling that self same sucker to keep an eye on the big picture of the industry or even their business. To them, big picture is the 50-inch plasma they want to buy as recognition of how much of a success they are.

Oct 13 12 02:52 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Kristiana-Retouch
Posts: 284
London, England, United Kingdom


Well, I think same thing happens to everyone. I am retoucher and I get a lot of requests for "unpaid test". I usually say no because I'm 99,9% sure, they don't care how god I am, they just want photos retouched for free.
Oct 13 12 05:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PBandJ photography
Posts: 25
Aiken, South Carolina, US


SoCo n Lime wrote:

lots of risk takers have fed and created this bullshit trend for enough years

its about time they all said NO like the OP has

work with your creative friends with the same aspirations and goals and leave businesses no option but to pay you (the freelance business) what your worth.

paid jobs gets you = paid referrals

something for nothing jobs gets you = something for nothing referrals

Exactly.

Oct 13 12 05:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
natural beauties of qld
Posts: 2,086
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Loki Studio wrote:
Nope-that was just industry standard bullshit.

excellent summary!

Oct 13 12 09:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
natural beauties of qld
Posts: 2,086
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


So the bottom line is that the agency is happy to make money from your images, but not happy to share the proceeds with you?  That should tell you all you need to know about the wisdom of dealing with them.

On a different aspect, I am not sure that the copyright could actually pass to the agency without some form of payment, so they may not be able to use the images legally unless you sign the rights over to them (and, even then, the absence of material compensation may remain an obstacle), but, equally, you may not wish the expense of stopping them from being used.
Oct 13 12 09:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Blue Ash Film Group
Posts: 9,147
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


i think you handled it well. What is an "Official Photographer" for an agency anyway? Are they going to have all their "talent" shot by the same photographer? It sounds like the beginning of a portfolio mill. Or they are trying to have everybody on their roster shot for free, even if it takes getting multiple photographers to do it.

Since we are in the same area would you mind PMing me who this is? I ask because a couple months ago I was approached by a new agency in the Northern part of the state asking me to do the same ( which I thought was strange because the distance was not inconsequential and the city they are located in is big enough to have several good photographers). Maybe we can compare notes.
Oct 13 12 09:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GCobb Photography
Posts: 15,870
Southaven, Mississippi, US


I had someone do this to me for concert shows.  I was paid the first time around but his empty promises were only to get me to shoot while his regular guy wasn't able to.  It sounds like they only want free shoots.
Oct 14 12 08:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


Direct the company to this website...

http://www.no-spec.com

A photography section was recently added.
Oct 14 12 08:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
salvatori.
Posts: 3,333
State College, Pennsylvania, US


Francisco Castro wrote:
I was approached by an unknown/new modeling agency who said that they were interested in contracting me as their official photographer. However, they said they wanted to test me out first to see if I can really deliver the in the style they're looking for to build their talents' ports/books.

I said sure, and gave them my rates.

They said that this was only a test for me, so it would be unpaid.

I replied that I was fine with that, on the condition that if they did end up using the photos taken during the test shoot, my rates would apply. If they decide it wasn't in the style they were looking for, or if the quality was lower than they expected, or just don't like the images for any reason, they don't use the images, I don't get paid, and we just walk away, no hurt feelings.

That's when I got a message from them that it was "industry standard" that any photos taken during an unpaid test become the property of the agency to use or not use.

I just replied, "Thank you for your interest. However, I am not comfortable with that arrangement.".

They got a little pithy, insisting that's how the industry is.

I just said, "No thank you.".

I don't think what I was asking for was unreasonable; we shoot, you like it enough to use it, you pay for my services. If you don't like it, I eat my time/labor investment, and you don't pay a dime to me.

Was I wrong?

In today's world, this is how it works. Completely wrong and demeaning, but how it works nonetheless. And it is sad indeed.

Oct 14 12 08:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Black Sunshine
Posts: 811
Austin, Texas, US


Christiana_psd wrote:
I get a lot of requests for "unpaid test". I usually say no because I'm 99.9% sure, they don't care how good I am, they just want photos retouched for free.

This is exactly what I've run into very often in my short career. Pretty much everyone is trying to fuck you, so don't leave your house until you get a deposit. If they are legit, then you'll get more credibility in their eyes because they become the bitch instead of you.

Oct 14 12 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,256
Imperial, California, US


Don Garrett wrote:
I think you were WAY too polite. I would have told them to go fuck themselves after the first response they gave. (My statements are really not that brusque usually, but that would have been an appropriate answer to them).
-Don

Yep!!  100%  commercial work for FREE is BS!!

Oct 14 12 08:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


salvatori. wrote:
In today's world, this is how it works. Completely wrong and demeaning, but how it works nonetheless. And it is sad indeed.

It only works that way because photographers, graphic designers, etc. allow it to perpetuate. If every visual artist turned down these insulting "offers" it would no longer work that way.

People, like the OP, have to be willing to say no.

And, honestly, saying no really shouldn't be that hard. What makes people say yes is some misguided belief that a real payday is down the road IF they just do this this time.

When you provide your work for free in any setting...there is never a pay day down the road. You've already established your worth in that client's mind.

Future pay is the carrot the client dangles to get what they need at that time.

Edit: If it weren't for SAG I'm sure it would work the same way in the film industry. Actors/Actresses would be lining up to perform for free in the hopes of being a star and reaping the rewards down the road.

Maybe we should all form a Photographer's Union.

Oct 14 12 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,135
New York, New York, US


When someone uses the "Industry Standard" line, I politely ask them for a website link, reference document, or some other source of official industry standards and practices.  That goes for industry standard modeling rates as well.

So far, nobody has been able to provide me with a reference document.  This begs the question, if there exists a standard for the industry, why can't anyone provide this standard?
Oct 14 12 01:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Karasev Studio
Posts: 125
New York, New York, US


Move on - they are trying to screw you.

A free test shoot yes, but images from test shoots are not to be used for profit, other than direct and non-transferable portfolio / promotional uses by model, photog, agency, studio/location, MUA/hair, etc., directly involved in the shoot. That's industry standard and if they say otherwise I don't know what industry they're in but it's not legitimate professional photography or model representation industry.
Oct 18 12 01:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Collins
Posts: 1,670
Orlando, Florida, US


Tell them you use Industry Standards as well.  Hire me and pay me.  Works for just about everyone who is actually IN the industry.

I'd ask them the same thing.  Would they send a model out to an actual job but agree not to bill them unless the photographer/client actually liked the model and used the images?  Uh, no.  A go see, sure, but that's not the same thing.

Photography IS my job.  Not some glorified hobby.

They have obviously already seen your work so they know your style.  That's kind of how it works.  You see my work.  You like it.  You hire me.  Or you don't.  Pretty simple concept.

Any agency that has an "agency photographer" is usually one that rips off wannabe models by getting kickbacks from the photographer or vice versa.  Some states actually have laws against these types of practices.
Oct 19 12 03:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bravoscape
Posts: 259
Frederick, Maryland, US


FWIW, this isn't just in the photography/modeling industry. I had to sign a waiver at a previous employer that ANY ideas related to that industry I came up with during my employment would be property of said company...unpaid. So...if it was a software company...and I made a piece of software off company time - they could sue for rights to it. Not right...but technically legal in most places.

OP, glad you stood up to them. If more people do...they will get the hint.
Oct 19 12 03:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Karl Blessing
Posts: 30,853
Grand Rapids, Michigan, US


Francisco Castro wrote:
...

That's when I got a message from them that it was "industry standard" that any photos taken during an unpaid test become the property of the agency to use or not use

...

Normally when I see them say "test" for consideration for a job, and then say the above, they have no plans on hiring you, they're just looking for free work from one poor sap to another.

By the way there was a transportation firm near here that tried to pull the exact same thing on me. Some "coding" work for consideration of a job... I was like, I'll code up some stuff for your site, but I need to be paid for my time regardless if you plan on hiring me again or not.

Oct 19 12 03:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Karl Blessing
Posts: 30,853
Grand Rapids, Michigan, US


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Direct the company to this website...

http://www.no-spec.com

A photography section was recently added.

http://www.no-spec.com/photography/

... the section doesn't seem to really say anything, just a page with saying the section was added, but I see no new links or something you could send the person to directly.

Oct 19 12 03:23 am  Link  Quote 
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